Currently accommodating the following as a creative and culinary hub: fine arts, theatre, restaurants, fishmonger, coffee shop, vintage toy shop.
Heini van Niekerk Architects was called to site with the aim of coming up with the envisaged proposal of taking the old ocean factories and workshops previously used within the crayfish / fishing industry to a new level of function. A new use for all the existing structures as a massive revamp and redesign remained key but the architects established that a sense of place must remain as one of the most crucial design elements. The final product reflects the history of Paternoster as it should in order to remain part of the fisherman village in terms of aesthetics and the urban grain.
The change from factories to a creative hub happened as a result of the regulations in the twentieth century which led to quotas being issued to West Coast Rock Lobster processors and so began efforts to manage the industry.
In 1930's the Paternoster Visserye was established, originally as a Redro Fishery Factory. It became one of the many commercial concerns to establish themselves in Paternoster and over the years remains the only facility involved with fishing West Coast Rock Lobster.
Due to the depletion of the rock lobster stocks along the Cape West Coast, the owners recognised the need to adapt and to look to new ways to sustain the community's historical livelihood. This is why the owners have created The Crayfish Wharf now known as Paternoster Waterfront as part of their commitment to:
- Developing alternative sustainable livelihoods through tourism for all.
- Managing the stocks that remain and developing aquaculture.
- To educate all who visit our part of the world, about our heritage with the sea.
Three hundred years ago Paternoster was known as St Martin's Bay and the area was rich in wildlife that included hippo and leopard on the land and the marshes to the east, stretched for miles. The rocks and offshore islands were rich in guano and penguin colonies thrived.
The ancestors of the coastline were the Strandlopers who roamed the shore lines and gathered food from the sea to sustain themselves.
Over time new folk settled in the region and the evolution of a town named after 'Our Father' (Paternoster) grew, founded on fishing and the Strand culture. Guano was mined for its rich qualities as a fertiliser and whales were hunted leading to the establishment of the Saldanha Bay whaling station. These were prime examples of man's industrial appetite for exploiting natural reserves.